November 2, 1973 | Friday evening

On Turning the Tables

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua  


When Dharma Masters from China visit, you should ask them, “Dharma Master, could you please tell me why Buddhism has disappeared from China? Do you know the reasons?” Ask that that. There are a lot of principles you can question then on. When Dharma Masters come here, they have no right to throw questions at us. If we speak badly, we’re just unable to talk, and that’s that. If the visitor asks one of us to give an explanation—we’re unable to explain. You can turn the tables on him like that. We’re just incapable of speaking, and that’s all there is to it. If you have pretensions and talk on and on… once you start talking, you’re at fault. But if we can’t talk—if we don’t talk—what then? Nothing. We just can’t talk. However, we can practice—tell him that and see what he says.

Basically you have no wisdom, so what’s the use of talking at length? You can ask him, “How did Buddhism in Taiwan get to be such a mess? Why does Buddhism in Hong Kong only know how to hustle ceremonies for money?” Hustling ceremonies for money means going out to recite sutras for the dead, banging on the Dharma instruments “ping, ping pong.” One day of “ping, ping pong” costs $80; some charge $100 or $200. If a well-known monk goes, the minimum is $200. That’s Hong Kong now. None of you know how to make money. The monks in Hong Kong all have millions, amassed from their “ping, ping pong, ping, ping pong.”


Timely Teachings, page 78.